Beach Boy Brian Wilson and the Quest for Cool

Multimedia Messages on Understanding Worldviews

Set in the cultural revolution of the 60’s, these multimedia presentations show the unfolding American story of worldviews–Christian, modern, Eastern and postmodern–through the life of Brian Wilson, founder of the Beach Boys. 

Beach Boys SummerDaysandSummerNights.album.coverMany people may think of the Beach Boys as all “Help-me-Rhonda,” the classic California surfing-cars-and-girls party band. But, like the Beatles, the Beach Boys found themselves on the cutting edge of the war of worldviews that erupted in the 60’s. Both bands competed to translate it into music.

Brian, who wrote songs about “God Only Knows” and praying “In My Room,” was raised with one foot in a culturally Christian worldview and the other in the modern worldview of progress and striving for success. Although he never fully embraced the hippie counterculture, he was drawn into Eastern spirituality. Eventually the experience of meditation “stopped working” for him. Brian’s longing for God and discouragement with religious experience illustrates the disillusionment that has left so many defaulting into the “whatever” of a postmodern worldview.

These messages weave the story of worldviews into the stories of the Beach Boys’ rise to fame and Brian’s struggles with an abusive Dad, the pressures to crank out the hits and his growing fears and addictions.

About the messages:We live in postmodern times. Meme2

  • the strengths of a Christian worldview are contrasted with other worldviews
  •  for high school student* to adult audiences
  • 2-4 sessions; may be presented on consecutive weeks if near Columbia, SC
  • require internet connectivity and video projection or large-screen TV for YouTube videos of Brian’s music, interviews and documentaries

For a brief summary of Brian’s story: 

In addition to the worldview focus this series offers many other life applications:

Don’t do drugs: One of the saddest but most powerful messages of Brian’s life comes as a result of pursuing drugs as a path to Eastern spirituality, creative enhancement and escape: “…if they saw what [drugs] did to me, they wouldn’t dare go near drugs. They wouldn’t even go near drugs. Nobody would.”

Beach Boys David LeafThe quest for cool is striving after the wind: You can be the most popular band in the world and one of the world’s greatest musical innovators and months later be considered “un-hip” because the world has changed beneath your feet.

You are not either a winner or a loser: A worldview based on Progress/performance and the quest for worldly success sets you up for a life of striving and the inevitable failures when your results don’t measure up.

Good relationships are the key to a successful life. But taking the question of, “Am I desirable? Do I have what it takes?” to a young woman or a young man will not give you the foundation of security you need. The relationship cannot bear the weight of the expectation. We are made in the image of God and deeply loved by him. Only our relationship with him can give us the emotional security we need.

The best response to mental illness is good medical care and the open embrace of the body of Christ. Because Brian was so gifted, and because he abused drugs, the people around him thought his downward spiral was drug induced. He was not properly diagnosed for 25 years. With proper care he has greatly improved. As the body of Christ we can push past the stigma of mental illness, love each person made in God’s image and carry one another’s burdens.

We all need an anchor of truth: A worldview and a life based on feelings and experience leads to a quest to fill a thirst that will never be quenched. If ever there has been someone who felt deeply and tried to live by their feelings it is Brian. Spiritual or emotional experiences endure for the moment and then fade away; but a relationship with God through Jesus will last forever.

The Beach Boys Christian worldview
The gospel restores hope:
Life has a major theme of joy and overcoming and a minor theme of brokenness and pain. The modern worldview and much of the Beach Boy’s music  focused on pleasure and winning and ignored or suppressed the minor theme. Postmoderns can focus on brokenness and loss, losing hope in the possibilities of overcoming and joy. The gospel acknowledges the heart-breaking reality of the minor theme but keeps the major theme the major theme: we can be reconciled to God and enjoy the life of blessing and forgiveness he offers through the sacrifice of Jesus, who loves us more than we can imagine.

eg_shopicon_36*What students are saying:

I thought this series was perfect! The topics were not something we talk about often, but they need to be discussed from time to time

I liked that this series is real and can be applied to every-day life now.

My biggest take away was how our worldview affects us.The Beach Boys Modern Worldview

I really liked the comparison of someone’s life and how it connected to the Scripture.

I liked best learning about Brian Wilson’s  worldview and beliefs.

It was different from most lessons I’ve been to.

This series was great! Keep putting media (video, music, pictures) in the Power Point. It adds a  lot.

My biggest take away is that God is our only hope in life.

If you’d like more information about my availability and fees to present these messages please connect with me below. I’ll get back to you promptly.